Writing for the Web


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Ever get the feeling that nobody is reading your library’s website? Trust your gut on this one; unfortunately, this is the case for much of the content posted on library sites. Learn how to make your content not only attractive, but also palatable to today’s online reader. Some simple guidelines will make all the difference.

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  • “ Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left."
  • Less scrolling
  • No all-caps
  • No exclamation points
  • No “click here”
  • Keep it conversational
  • Write in the active voice
  • Writing for the Web

    1. 1. Laura Solomon Library Services ManagerWriting for OPLIN laura@oplin.org the Web (A.K.A. “Trying to getpeople to give a darn”)
    2. 2. You can:• Keep their attention• Not turn them off• Write more convincingly
    3. 3. From Aaron Schmidt, walkingpaper.org
    4. 4. L E N GT H
    5. 5. On average, webusers read almost 100% of a page’scontent only if it is 25 words or less.
    6. 6. Krug’s Third Law of Usability
    7. 7. http://mrs.oshimbo.com/2010/10/10thingsidontlike.html
    8. 8. “…bullets are like flashing Christmas lights”
    9. 9. LESS NOISE
    11. 11. LessPageLength
    12. 12. http://www.yourlibrary.org/node/11452?ddbox00=429&ddbox01=464&x=73&y=13 http://www.yourlibrary.org/reference
    13. 13. QUALITY
    15. 15. Harry Potter Party at theMain Library Thursday,July 14, at 3 p.m.!!!!!!!!
    16. 16. Clickhere
    17. 17. Click here to access your account Access your account
    18. 18. http://www.scribendi.com/advice/the_correct_use_of_acronyms.en.html
    19. 19. Don’t bury the lead• “Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, wouldn’t say Sunday whether he’d repeal President Barack Obama’s decision to stop deporting certain young illegal immigrants. “• “In an interview, Romney would say only that his administration would seek longer-term solutions to the problem of illegal immigration, and that Obama’s new directive, announced Friday, was temporary fix. “
    20. 20. • 84% are more likely to trust you• 60% + are more likely to be interested in what you are selling/saying
    21. 21. Content Write in the should not activebe written by voice. passive- voiced staff members.
    22. 22. Selling yourcontent
    23. 23. HOW or WHYand BENEFIT=WIN ** ($how||$why)+$benefit=$win
    24. 24. Learn more about the library’s research databases
    25. 25. How to makeyour researchfaster & more productive
    26. 26. Feature BenefitExperience
    27. 27. • Feature: New database• Benefit: Higher quality information• Experience: Blow away your teachers or professors. Credible, professional sources add information to your research not available via Google and make you look like a more committed student .
    28. 28. WHY?
    29. 29. Where’s your CTA?
    30. 30. Four kinds of CTAs• Place an order;• Enroll, subscribe, enter;• Get a quote;• Learn more.
    31. 31. Make ‘emstronger!
    32. 32. “The goal of the copy is to connect with the reader, and guide them towards an action. “ Peep Laja, owner of Markitekt.com
    33. 33. Making headlines
    34. 34. Headlines do 3 things
    35. 35. 1. Communicate importance
    36. 36. 2. Succinctly convey story essence MAN BITES DOG, DOG THREATENS LAWSUIT
    37. 37. 3. Grab attention
    38. 38. Write the headline FIRST
    39. 39. Include locationBranch gets new checkout machine versusBelpre branch library gets new checkout machine
    40. 40. Think keywordsLocal man wins summer reading contest versus Belpre man wins stuffed monkey in library’s 2012 summer reading contest
    41. 41. Why do list posts work? “If there’s one thing that turns online readers off, it is the 17-line, multi-idea, complex paragraph” Chris Lake, eConsultancy, Digital Marketers United
    42. 42. Practice
    43. 43. Rewrite this!A patron must have a library card in goodstanding to use the public computersmanaged by the Library’s reservationsoftware.
    44. 44. (Absolutely shameless plug)
    45. 45. http://www.twitter.com/laurasolomon http://www.facebook.com/laurasolomon http://www.linkedin.com/in/laurasolomon laura@oplin.org http://www.meanlaura.com http://www.slideshare.net/laurasolomonThank you!